Wim Coekaerts, the senior vice president of Linux and virtualization engineering for Oracle is now a Microsoft man. Famously called as “Mr. Linux” at Oracle, Coekaerts helped Oracle become a Linux superpower in his 20 year tenure. Coekaerts joined Oracle in the year 1995 and was largely responsible in managing Oracle’s Linux strategy on ensuring large enterprises can adopt Linux quickly.
Wim Coekaerts fine work at Oracle includes bringing first Linux products to company, moving Oracle’s programming staff from Windows to Linux desktops and bringing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone in the form of Oracle Linux.
Coekaerts appointment reconfirms Microsoft’s stance on open source software
Mike Neil, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Cloud, mentioned,
“Wim Coekaerts has joined Microsoft as Corp VP of Open Source in our Enterprise Cloud Group. As we continue to deepen our commitment to open source, Wim will focus on deepening our engagement, contributions and innovation to the open-source community.”
Wim Coekaerts appointment confirms Microsoft’s growing support to open-source software, something that its chief Satya Nadella has been advocating. This approach is completely different to what Microsoft used to embrace under former chief Steve Ballmer, who once compared Linux and open-source for cancer.
Now at Microsoft, Coekaerts would look to repeat of what he did at Oracle and among his prime responsibilities would be to focus on open source code for Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud division.
Throwing a caution to Oracle’s database franchise reputation, Microsoft announced last month that its Windows-focused SQL Server database would soon also run on Linux. In another move, Red Hat and Microsoft recently announced that its joint customers would be able to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure.
Although Linux competes with Unix in a direct race, it is also a direct competition to Microsoft Windows Server. With Microsoft turning towards Coekaerts for Linux empowerment, it would be interesting to note how the company strike the right balance.